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3 predictions for Red Sox’s Spring Training camp

@IanMBrowne
February 15, 2020

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The sun is shining brightly at Spring Training, but not too bright to take a look into a crystal ball and forecast some developments that will take place in the coming weeks. Here are three when it comes to the Red Sox.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The sun is shining brightly at Spring Training, but not too bright to take a look into a crystal ball and forecast some developments that will take place in the coming weeks.

Here are three when it comes to the Red Sox.

1. Dalbec will turn heads
Given the construction of the roster, it’s hard to say that power-hitting prospect Bobby Dalbec will earn a spot on Boston's Opening Day roster when you consider he’s never played in the Major Leagues. But don’t be surprised if Dalbec has a monster Spring Training and positions himself as an early-season callup if the Red Sox have any injury issues.

The right-handed masher is a solid defender and can play both corners. Dalbec spent a week under the watch of Red Sox coaches and players last season and is said to be a sponge. Look for him to take it up a notch in the coming weeks.

2. The fifth starter will be … an opener
The Red Sox have a gaping hole in the rotation following the trade of David Price to the Dodgers, with no obvious candidate to fill the void. So what to do? It’s simple. Go with an opener. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was one of the masterminds of that concept with the Rays. Look for righty Ryan Weber to be an important part of the plan if that’s what Boston goes with for the fifth spot. The Sox love the righty’s makeup and think he can get better with a few tweaks this spring. Lefty Josh Taylor, who has a power arm, should also factor in.

3. Vázquez will become a human vacuum
There was one major weakness in a breakout 2019 season for Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez. He had a hard time blocking pitches. For someone as prideful about defense as Vázquez, you can expect he will spend long and hard hours with catching instructors Jason Varitek and Chad Epperson to fix that hole in his game.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.